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Des Moines confronting stinky situation with plan to tackle odor

"Basically it smells like dog poop," said Veronica Stice, owner of Black Magic Tattoo in the East Village. "The whole downtown smells like dog poop."

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines City Council voted Monday to spend $83,000 to hire a company to help them tackle odor problems within the city.

According to city documents, R.K. and Associates will teach city workers how odors spread, how to monitor them, and how to respond to complaints about them. The company will also review past complaints and try to identify the source of those odors to find odor clusters in the city and plot out on a map and address. 

R.K. and Associates will also help the city implement an odor monitoring plan.

"Basically it smells like dog poop," said Veronica Stice, owner of Black Magic Tattoo in the East Village. "The whole downtown smells like dog poop."

Residents told Local 5 odors are evident at certain times of the day on the east side of town and in the East Village. Members of city council also expressed frustrations with the smell.

"A lot of us know, as you go outside some mornings, that it's very difficult to breathe," said Joe Gatto, the City Council member representing Ward 4. "I can't even describe the smell that we smell, so hopefully this study will pinpoint where it's at."

R.K. and Associates will also be conducting a survey to determine a base-line for odors detected in Des Moines to determine what is considered a strong odor. The city council hopes to have the results of the company's research by July of 2022.

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